Ha ha! Did you ever think this week’s Grey’s Anatomy column would be titled “Stick a Fork in It”? What were the odds? Anyway, after a week hiatus thanks to the annual train wreck that is the Oscars, our favorite soapy medi-dramedy was back in fine form.
In a subtle nod to yesteryear, our opening voiceover is once again from dear Meredith, rather than voiceover virgin George from last week. Meredith notes that patients are always telling doctors how they should do their jobs. They like to suggest quick solutions as if they know what they’re talking about, when in reality they know as much about medicine as Tara Reid knows about subtle breast implants.Speaking of bad ideas, George is cutting his hair over Burke’s bathroom sink with some mini-scissors. Cutting his hair badly. Though apparently it’s supposed to be some gesture of liberation from his attachment to Meredith (since he grew his hair out for her, after all), the new hairdo is more reminiscent of that whole period in the 80s when it looked like Cyndi Lauper was cutting her hair with a saw. Magically, George’s dislocated shoulder seems to have healed.
Next, we see Meredith and He-Shepherd traipsing through the same forest they’ve apparently been in for two whole weeks, since that’s where we left them last time. He-Shepherd asks whether Meredith’s friends are still upset with her about whatever horrible thing she did. He urges her to come clean with him about whatever the problem is, be it Botox addiction, syphilis, or simply that “not so fresh” feeling. She refrains.
A barely awake yet already fiercely misanthropic Cristina stumbles out of bed to find that Burke fortunately has left some lifesaving coffee out in the kitchen. If this is what Burke wakes up to every morning, the man is a saint. Just as Cristina finishes chugging the entire French press and snorting the grounds, Burke and George walk in, sweaty from a five-mile run and a vigorous bout of male bonding. Cristina asks George what’s wrong with his hair—Burke says she should leave George alone because he has issues. Issues notwithstanding, George proves to be quite the happy homemaker, tossing eggs around like a shorter, badly coiffed Julia Child.
“Uh, sure… I’ll take two eggs over easy with a side of disdain”
Later at the hospital, everyone continues to wonder what’s up with George’s hair. Alex says he looks like a hobbit—I still contend he looks more like a woman, along the lines of Amélie, or maybe Meryl Streep in Silkwood. Who the hell knows. In short, it’s not a good look.
The first patient is Izzie’s old heart-diseased flame, Denny, whose congestive heart failure isn’t getting better. He’s having trouble breathing and experiencing a “buildup of fluid in his systems”—i.e., Izzie’s been blueballing him for three episodes running. Anyway, Denny’s continued presence has driven Izzie-Alex tensions to new highs, so they fight by proxy by issuing different treatment guidelines for Denny’s condition:
Izzie: “We’ll give him loop diuretics. Maybe bumetanide.”
Alex: “No. Cardiac glycosides, clearly.”
Izzie: “Whatever, you kill like 20 patients a week. Bumetanide. At the very least, triamterene.”
Alex: “No, no, no. Sodium nitro… nitro… nitroprusside. Damn, the script coaches should’ve given us more time with this.”
Izzie: “NO. TRIAMTERENE, YOU PIGFUCKER! JESUS SAYS TO USE TRIAMTERENE!!”
She-Shepherd’s patient is having problems with her “membranes” during week 28 of her pregnancy. She wants to just go ahead and have a C-section, but She-Shepherd suggests bloodwork first. The patient’s husband, who frankly looks more like he could be her father, stares at She-Shepherd and says that she bears a striking resemblance to a “young Catherine Deneuve.” Ooh, good call. Dr. Bailey retorts that if She-Shepherd is Catherine Deneuve then she’s Halle Berry. Ooh, Bailey in a Catwoman suit! Ready-made Halloween episode, right there.
In the hall, Bailey is carrying her crying baby around. Webber asks why she brought the damn thing to work and what she plans to do with it during surgery. Obviously he’s no expert in baby-gami. Meredith, meanwhile, attempts to confront George, but he runs off like the wounded, immature, fourth-grader that he is and omg between this and the hair I am really starting to hate his character. Meredith continues to plead, saying that at some point George is gonna have to talk to her. But this appeal fails as well. The moppet hairstyle knows no mercy.
He-Shepherd’s patient is none other than guest star Natalie Cole, who has a fork stuck in her neck. I’d go for some jokes about how you could stick a fork in Ms. Cole’s career, but I’ll refrain. Anyway, backstory of the fork: so Ms. Cole and her husband were having brunch at a hotel, threw back a few mimosas, so the obvious thing to do next is, of course, fellate your husband under the table—or, as Ms. Cole so delicately puts it, giving her husband some “special attention.” Anyway, halfway through this charitable act she suffered some kind of seizure or spasm, which caused her to perform the cardinal sin of fellatio: CLENCHING DOWN ON THE PEEPEE. The husband justifiably flipped out and in a reflex movement, uh, stuck his fork in her.
Though the husband escaped with just some “bruising,” we learn that the wife’s seizure might have had something with the massive brain aneurysm she was diagnosed with a few weeks ago. Oh yeah, she forgot to mention that. Anyway, the other doctors Ms. Cole has seen all told her that the aneurysm was inoperable. He-Shepherd, ever the contrarian, doesn’t buy this and decides to do a new MRI. What would Grey’s Anatomy do without aneurysms? This is like number 300 and we’re not even through season two.
Out in der Ambulanzparkplatz, Bailey’s baby is royally pissed at the noise from an arriving ambulance. Bailey commands the crew to turn the siren off, then strongarms a vehemently protesting Cristina into playing babysitter while she preps for surgery. Baby-hater Cristina to run and hide, but to no avail.
Meanwhile, George’s new potential paramour, our busty amiga Dr. Torres, asks George tentatively why he hasn’t called him yet. He says he actually has called a few times but always got too nervous and hung up the phone. She looks amused and comments that it’s actually a good thing she makes him so nervous. She asks if he “wants to see something really cool,” and I’m half-expecting her to unleash the melones right there and then, but instead she opens George’s eyes to the world of kinky S&M by showing him a scary x-ray of some patient’s finger broken in approximately 8,000 places. The patient, it turns out, is a high school hockey player who mangled the finger by getting it caught and twisted in the net during practice. He has another really big game this afternoon and is eager just to put the finger in a splint temporarily so he can play. Riiiiiiiight.
As Meredith prepares to pull the fork out of Natalie Cole’s neck, Ms. Cole’s husband distracts her with stories of what they’ll do on their upcoming vacation to Paris—a romantic cruise on the Bateaux-Mouches, a stroll on the Champs-Elysées, a sumptuous vin de pays, perhaps an evening at Tyra Banks’s place on l’Avenue des Breasts-Gigants—and YANK out comes the fork. Natalie Cole suddenly thinks Meredith is amazing. Note to self: master fork-extraction as essential life skill.
The husband asks Meredith how much she knows about Dr. He-Shepherd, since apparently he has an incredible reputation. Oh SIR please don’t open that can of worms. The wife breaks in and says she doesn’t want any surgery, she just wants to go on with her life, go crazy with her husband, go to Paris, give him a little more attention spéciale under the table—you know, the simple pleasures. She doesn’t want another second opinion, she wants just to enjoy what time she has left. The husband clearly disagrees.
Alex, meanwhile, is tending to heart patient Denny, who promptly asks hey where the hell is Izzie? Alex says she’s busy with other patients. Denny says fine, he’ll just have to make do with Alex, who he’s sure is a fine doctor but definitely not his type. Alex, never one to leave a low blow unblown, says it’s fine if he’s not Denny’s type, cause he can just settle for being Izzie’s type instead. BOOOOO. This instantly crushes Denny’s self-esteem, hopes, dreams, soul, and anything else worth crushing, and he’s devastated when Alex confirms that yes he and Izzie are indeed an item.
“Quit with the feces or I’m gonna DUCT TAPE YOU WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE”
In the gallery, Cristina complains that Bailey-baby duty couldn’t suck any more. With a horrified expression on her face she wonders Mary Mother of God what’s that smell and then identifies it not as baby poopie or baby doodoo but BABY FECES. Just then, Dr. Webber walks in; Cristina explains that they’ve “had an incident.” Webber asks if Cristina needs help with the diaper, but she retorts no you foolio she has an MD from Stanford and a PhD from Berkeley—what, no JD/MBA?—so she can HANDLE THE DAMN DIAPER, THANKS. Webber says okay, carry on, carry on. Seriously, I think half of Webber’s spoken lines in this series are some variation on “carry on.”
As Meredith accompanies Natalie Cole down the hallway, she mentions that Ms. Cole seems incredibly at peace with her prognosis. Frankly, Ms. Cole says, she’s a little in love with her prognosis: her marriage had been pretty stale, and the aneurysm scare has woken her up. Now she’s wide awake, so she and her aneurysm are good friends. She is also bosom buddies with her plantar warts and pen pals with her urinary tract infection.
She-Shepherd runs into He-Shepherd and says she’s been looking for him. He couldn’t care less, since he’s awed by the MRI of Natalie Cole’s aneurysm, which is enormous. She-Shepherd asks who Catherine Deneuve is; duh, she’s a hot French actress. She-Shepherd says well HEY her patient’s husband thought she looked like a veritable Deneuve herself—but He-Shepherd’s only comment is that Catherine Deneuve is a blonde, not a redhead. Ouch. Since he’s too busy to talk to her, She-Shepherd walks away, feeling disappointed and distinctly non-French.
Izzie apparently never has to work, so she’s playing Scrabble with Denny. She plays the word “screw,” which Denny interprets as sexual innuendo but which clearly refers to the numerous screws loose in Izzie’s “mind,” if that’s what it can be called. Denny says that sometimes it’s hard to tell where Izzie is coming from—sometimes he thinks Jupiter, sometimes the Scientology Reading Room, sometimes the planet Zorkon. Anyway, he mentions that Alex said something about he and Izzie being a couple. This angers Izzie, who denies that she and Alex are together. As a token of thanks, Denny starts hyperventilating and seizuring.
“Yes, ‘Zoloft’ would be a lot of points, honey, but you can’t play brand names”
Burke says Denny’s attack is not a good sign—he needs a new heart and is running out of time. In the meantime, Burke wants to install a left ventricular assist device, which is essentially a mini V6 that’ll help his heart pump. Although it’ll hold over until a transplant, it’s risky and will prevent Denny from leaving the hospital until he gets a donor heart. But he really has no other options.
Izzie pages Alex to the on-call room, a.k.a. the intern sex lounge. Alex starts taking his shirt off, saying he was anticipating Izzie’s page and can’t wait to “take her temperature,” yada yada yada, but Izzie says she didn’t page him for sex but for VENTING RAGE. After she unloads on him for talking to Denny about their relationship, Alex snaps back that she’s crossing the line with Denny and she shouldn’t become friends with patients. Izzie says he just feels threatened. Alex retorts that Izzie’s patient is half-dead and soon possibly all dead, so how could he possibly feel threatened? Izzie can’t believe this shit and runs out.
Dr. Torres, meanwhile, sends her hockey-player patient home with painkillers while they schedule his surgery. The kid insists that he has to play in his big game because the college scouts will be there and he could get a scholarship. To the mother’s relief, George and Latina McBoobs discourage the kid as much as possible, saying that he risks permanent damage to his hand if he plays. But the kid pleads that this game could determine his whole future. It would be a good scene if I weren’t so distracted by George’s horrible hair and trying to figure out what woman he looks like. Madonna from the “Fever” video? Isabella Rossellini? It’s driving me NUTS.
In the ever-popular SGH quasi-outdoor cafeteria, the husband of She-Shepherd’s C-section patient approaches her for some awkward intergenerational flirting. She-Shepherd tries to stay professional and says that the wife’s bloodwork was fine, so they can go ahead with the unnatural surgical birthing. But the husband stays firmly on-message and insists that She-Shepherd really does look like Catherine Deneuve. She reminds him that there are more important issues—such as, you know, the health of his wife and unborn child—but he WILL NOT STOP talking about how her extraordinary Gallic beauty… but he understands if she doesn’t want to eat with him. Nice! Stalkerish and passive-aggressive. This guy should join the papparazzi.
At another lunch table, baby-burdened Cristina embraces her maternal instinct, observing that some species eat their young. Izzie asks George whether he’s planning on ever talking to Meredith; George whines that no, instead he’s gonna by a T-shirt that reads “please stop asking me about Meredith.” Or maybe he’ll put the words on a lavender silk negligée—whatever strikes his fancy. Anyway, when Meredith sits down at the table, George promptly gets up and goes to sit with Dr. Torres.
Izzie says Meredith should apologize. Meredith says she has apologized. Profusely! Truly madly deeply! Besides, it takes two people to make a stupid sexual decision. Izzie says it’d be better if they could all just get along. Ever one to practice what she preaches, she immediately storms off as soon as Alex sits down. Bailey’s baby’s assholedar immediately senses Alex’s presence and sets off the crying reflex once again. Cristina tries to soothe the baby by screaming “SHUT IT! SHUT IT!”
Later, Meredith tells He-Shepherd that her friends have no right to still be mad at her. He asks her once again what she did to merit all this scorn, but she again refuses to say. He-Shepherd laughs and says she sucks as a friend—not to mention as a fake cryer and natural-aging spokesmodel. As their conversation ends, he notices through a window that She-Shepherd and her patient’s husband are having quite a flirty lunch in the courtyard.
As Dr. Bailey performs a surgery, Cristina stays up in the gallery with the baby, who is still crying. Cristina turns on the O.R. intercom to ask Bailey what to do. Bailey requests that she hold the infant up to the intercom so she can hear the crying. Fortunately, she identifies the cry as merely Cry #4 (“bitch get me some dinner”), rather than the far more troublesome Cry #7 (“y’all crimpin my flava”) or Cry #22 (“Zahara Jolie, the skank done left me”).
Dr. He-Shepherd, meanwhile, has a plan for Natalie Cole: a procedure he refers to as a “double-barrel brain bypass.” Damn, I was hoping for the “Super Ultra BrainBlaster 3000″ or maybe the old “Pekingese Pituitary Spectacular.” Anyway, the procedure uses two scalp arteries to redirect blood flow in the brain around the aneurysm. It’s risky: He-Shepherd has performed two during his career—one successfully, one botched (of course). What does Natalie Cole say? HELL no. She says she’s leaving and they’re going to Europe NOW.
After this talk, Mr. Cole asks for a word with He-Shepherd. He says he barely noticed his wife for fifteen years, but ever since she got the nasty aneurysm everything has turned around. He hates that it took, you know, a HUGE DISTENDED BALLOONING ARTERY IN HER BRAIN to make him notice her, but it worked. Anyway, he wants He-Shepherd to use the patented Soulful McDreamy “I Care About Kittens and Can Fix Your Aneurysm”® look to convince his wife to opt for the surgery.
“Describe my own look in two words? Ooh, I’ve got it—ASYMMETRICAL CHIC.”
The She-half of the Shepherd clan, meanwhile, complains to Bailey that her husband doesn’t even notice her, whereas her patient’s creepy husband paid attention to her the whole half hour at lunch. Bailey will have none of this and says that having lunch with some stalker won’t fix She-Shepherd’s problems with her own husband.
While Bailey is busy dispensing marital advice, her baby is still crying in the scaly, clawed forelegs of Cristina, who is trying to make the damn thing eat. Despite her numerous appeals for the infant to accept her offerings of “yummy food,” the situation remains grim. Burke watches with amusement. But then Nurse George comes up, assertively takes the baby and bottle, and, as if the rubber nipple were his own humble teat, calms the newborn and gives it nourishment. Burke says he’s a natural—does he have young nieces or nephews or something? George says no, babies just like him. Hmm, maybe because you LOOK AND ACT like a giant baby yourself, so they just figure you’re one of their own. And the womanly new hairdo certainly doesn’t hurt.
“Coincidentally,” Dr. Torres walks up just when George is feeding the baby. She practically goes into her mating dance upon seeing that George is not only cute but also well suited to the long future of birthing she has planned for herself. She says the hockey kid’s surgery is scheduled for the next day—which prompts Cristina to volunteer MEMEMEME for the operation since she hasn’t had her blood fix in nearly two hours. Dr. Torres is like quién the hell are you, puta and says she needs only one person in the O.R. anyway. She warns George, though, that this is the last invitation she’s extending to him, so he better hit this shit before she loses interest. After Dr. Torres walks off, Cristina can’t believe that George might potentially score some sabor latino.
He-Shepherd tries his charm offensive on Natalie Cole. She doesn’t want the damn surgery: for the first time in twelve years she has a great marriage and life and wants to keep taht going. He reminds her that she has only weeks left, whereas if the surgery’s successful she could have decades. She says he doesn’t understand: she doesn’t want to die but doesn’t want to go back and be a bedwarmer again either. He-Shepherd says he knows she won’t settle, so she should fight for her life and marriage and make a decision now that she’ll never settle again. Ms. Cole is so inspired that she jumps up and says “Yes! A new lease on life! I’ll rekindle my marriage! Move to Paris! Exhume my long-dead father so we can record a morbid duet that’ll reach #14 on the Billboard charts!”
Meanwhile, Denny complains to Izzie that he’s tired of all these heart procedures and doesn’t like the idea of the implant device and hates being in the hospital. Izzie says she understands but as his doctor she can’t support any other decision. It’ll give him more time, and “we” need more time. MHMM, “relationship strictly professional” my ass. She assures Denny that she’ll be there every day and that as an added bonus it’ll really piss off Alex. She seems happy but knows that she is officially crossing the border into DatingATerminalPatientland.
Hockey kid shows up back at the hospital, all smiles because he played in the big game and kicked ass and impressed all the college scouts. It was easy—all he had to do was CUT OFF HIS FINGER IN JUST FIVE EASY STEPS HE LEARNED ON THE INTERNETS! Plus, it’s okay, he saved the finger on ice so they can just sew it back on! During the surgery, George judges the kid harshly for being so stupid; Dr. Torrrrrres says the kid has passion for hockey and you gotta respect that—after all, sometimes you can’t wait, you just want the pain to stop so you cut it off. George says no, if things are too painful to start with, cutting things off doesn’t end the pain, you’re left with that phantom pain, that pain, oh, the pain, it pains me to think of the painful pain and THANK GOD Dr. Torres finally shuts him up by saying “Your ex did a real number on you huh.” I love how she always cuts through the mierda de toros.
Natalie Cole, meanwhile, has agreed to undergo the surgery. In a sort of surgical prenup, she makes her husband promise that he’ll quit his job, sell the house, go to Paris—and promise to do that even if she dies during the surgery. Damn, she drives a tougher bargain than Ellen Barkin.
Quick, somebody call Anne Geddes
Up in the gallery, Cristina is sleeping next to the baby. Bailey’s entrance wakes her up; Cristina says she fed him but HOLY SHIT THERE IS BABY FECES EVERYWHERE. Cristina says she knows Bailey is her boss and could destroy her career and make her life a living hell, but in the future she does not babysit. Bailey says that’s fine.
In various O.R.s, Burke implants Denny’s ventricular kickstarter while She-Shepherd performs the C-section. Afterward, she checks in to make sure the mother and baby are doing okay. Everything is fine—so fine in fact that the patient’s stalker husband barely even notices or pays attention to She-Shepherd. Unhappy to be unstalked, she gets a despondent look on her face. This scene is just implausible and/or weird.
The hockey kid isn’t so lucky: when he cut off his finger and then put on his dirty stinky hockey glove for the game, he got himself a severe infection in his finger—one so bad that he might lose the entire function of his hand. The kid refuses to believe this since the Internets didn’t say anything about bacteria and there ain’t never no factual errors on the Internets. Dr. Torres says unfortunately his hockey career is over. He keeps ranting no! He got the directions off the Internets! Message boards! AOL chat rooms! The FAQ on www.dosurgery4urself.ru!
Natalie Cole, however, is pretty damn lucky. After a tense surgery that seemingly the entire hospital staff watches from the gallery, He-Shepherd pronounces the operation a success. At one moment during the surgery, She-Shepherd looks down at He-Shepherd wistfully, and he looks up meaningfully and seems to notice her for the first time in a while.
Afterward, Meredith tells He-Shepherd the surgery was amazing; he concurs. He assures her again that she can talk to him as a friend if she needs advice on whatever horrible thing she did. She says fine, but only if he truly reacts as her friend, not as her skanky ex-trick. After about ten excruciating minutes of back-and-forth, Meredith finally confesses that she slept with George. He-Shepherd tries to hide his displeasure and act friendly but clearly is not happy to hear this. However, he does offer the good advice that Meredith has to find George and apologize, forcing him to listen even if he doesn’t want to hear it. Meredith wonders how the hell to do that; He-Shepherd says to do what he does—use the elevator.
Faster than you can say “witty self-referentiality,” Meredith traps George in the elevator. She says he doesn’t have to talk; she’ll do the talking. Anyway, she apologizes profusely, saying she’s not gonna make excuses and that she’s truly very deeply sorry. Well Meredith that’s really very nice and good but it still doesn’t move George one bit. She says she knows he’ll just ignore her and get off the elevator, but they’re friends and no matter how long it takes, whenever he decides to drop his grudge she’ll still be there. As predicted, George does walk off.
Bedside with Denny, Izzie is praying to Jesus and all the saints and apostles and L. Ron Hubbard for his recovery. Clearly she is in dangerous territory. He finally wakes up and says “Don’t you have somewhere to be?” COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF BUSTER.
If I were a saint I’d go marching OUT
As Cristina returns home, she opens the door to the horriying scene of Burke in a jam session with George, who apparently is not only a skin flautist but also fancies himself a jazz clarinetist. He-Shepherd comes home to the equally frightening sight of his wife wearing her clunky, no-nonsense, Manhattan publishing industry glasses. He approaches her and admits that he was indifferent. Yes. He was absent. Yes! He’s partly to blame for what’s happened to their marriage. YES YES OH MY GOD YESYESYESYES!! After She-Shepherd’s yesgasm subsides, He-Shepherd says he’se sorry and he’s working on things. She says okay. Meredith concludes her voiceover with the advice that with some wounds, you have to rip off the Band-Aid but then just let things air out and give them time to heal. And CUT.
Makeup $35. Glasses $400. Invitation to become a regular on The L Word… priceless.
Great episode I thought. I actually really liked Natalie Cole, and I thought the turn at the end with the Shepherds was interesting. Arguably we were treading a little water plotwise, but I guess that’s to be expected in an episode that’s all about waiting things out. Next week looks interesting, providing a veritable deathfest as the surgeons go 0 for 4 before it’s Denny’s turn to get his insides cut up. One can only imagine the new heights of bipolarity Izzie will reach. What did we all think?